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Hiring to Eliminate Risk Stifles Innovation and Kills the Economy

January 31, 2017

  • Kolbe Wisdom
  • Teams

In virtually every organization, there is a critical role to be played by people who initiate in the Follow Thru Action Mode®. These natural-born systematizers and plan developers prevent unsafe working conditions, they verify that taxes are paid on time, and they ensure that everyone pays attention to budgets without compromising product quality.  A company with no initiating Follow Thrus on staff could soon be headed for disaster.  So, it’s no surprise that many senior executives – who hope to avoid catastrophe at all costs – tend to to hire an initiating Follow Thru over someone who is more is more adaptable and less bureaucratic.

However, in some organizations the preference for initiating Follow Thru managers is an obsession that has changed the corporate culture and produced mountains of red tape. In a recent presentation, Kolbe Corp Chairman Kathy Kolbe noted that this tendency to over-hire candidates who initiate in Follow Thru has given us organizations  with “layers and layers of bureaucracy, and management doesn’t get it and thinks we need even more.”

The result:  a slowdown in the introduction of new technologies to the market.

Major media outlets have noted how risk intolerance and increased regulations have negatively affected American society. According to The Wall Street Journal, our quality of life has not changed much in the past fifty years.  “Outside of personal technology, (recent) improvements in everyday life have been incremental, not revolutionary … None of the 20 most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. came to market in the past decade.”

On a related note, an article in the Harvard Business Review explains that while technological advances have made solar energy solutions much more viable for American consumers, the wide-scale roll-out of these solutions is being prevented by confusing and outdated regulations.

We’ve allowed too many companies to be dominated by people who add systems and structures and policies and procedures.  We’ve failed to balance those valuable voices with people who streamline, adapt and diversify.  The result has been lagging innovation.

Of course, this problem is NOT the fault of people who initiate in Follow Thru.  If we fired them all tomorrow, we’d quickly be faced with a flood of industrial accidents, missed deadlines, and manufacturing mishaps.  We do need some procedures and regulations.  But we also need new concepts and new solutions, and that requires a willingness to safely introduce new ideas and new technologies.  In short, this means organizations will need to hire individuals with diverse conative strengths (in all four Action Modes®) in order to build synergistic and innovative workforces.

So how diverse are the conative strengths on your team?  Do you have real conative synergy, or are you focused on Follow Thru and adding to the problem?

We can help you learn more about the type of team you have – take our free Team Collaboration Survey, which is a quick way to determine which type of team you’re dealing with and offers customized Leadership Tips designed to boost productivity immediately.

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  • Kolbe Wisdom
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